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Cheaper to board or to keep horses at home?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
    I think a lot of posters are comparing apples to oranges. It isn't fair to compare stall board at a facility with a nice ring and professional staff and twice a day care to an at home facility where the horses stay out all the time, eat from a hay roll, get grain once a day, are periodically cared for by friends/neighbors who might not know much about horses and there is no riding ring. Of course you are saving money, but it isn't because the horses are at home it is because the standard of care has dropped. I'm not saying that horses can't do fine in the second situation, just that it isn't comparable.
    How has the standard of care dropped? Because they don't have a beautifully groomed ring to be ridden in? Because you aren't paying someone to take care of your horse? Because they're eating from *gasp* a round bale? Because they might have to be ridden on trails? Because *omg* they're staying out all the time instead of stalled for 12 hours a day?

    horses don't care one iota about how pretty the stalls are, how well groomed the staff is, that the riding ring cost $200k to build. To most horses, being allowed outside all the time, to roll in the mud, to run and buck and fart whenever they feel like it, is a HUGE increase in the "standard of care" over being pampered in a 12 in 12 out situation. You can get crappy hay fed at high end boarding barns. You can get feed fed that is high in sugars at high end boarding barns. Boarding doesn't increase the standard of care any more than at home decreases it.

    If moving your horses home includes a drastic change in the standard and complexity of horse care and a significant reduction in horse/barn amenities, yes, obviously you are going to save money, just as if you moved your horse from stall board at a fancy facility to pasture board at a more simple place. The savings is not in having your horses at home, it is in the simplification of their care wherever it is.
    Who cares where the savings comes from? If someone needs people to ride with and big rings with fancy jumps and doesn't have time due to a heavy work schedule to actually take care of a farm, then the cost savings doesn't matter - it's not for them. Heck, there are more than a few folks who go back to boarding during the Winter for the sake of some ameneties. But for many people, paying for the number of amenities are some barns is soooo not worth it. Some don't want to pay for a heated barn and hot water in the barn and someone on call all the time to put on and remove blankets on a moment's notice, or have part of board fees go to keeping the grounds in pristine shape when they have nothing to do with how the horse is kept.

    People are quite capable in many cases of giving their horse as good or better care at home AND spending less money to do it.

    Interestingly, I have had several fairly particular clients over the years who have ended up buying their own horse properties and moving their horses home and in each case their standards relaxed dramatically. It takes a lot of work to keep stalls clean, buckets fresh, blankets changed, fences fixed, arena groomed, aisle swept, etc, and when people realize exactly how much work, they often decide to drastically simplify things.
    Of course. It's one thing to shell out some money every month for someone else to do all the dirty work, it's another to actually do it yourself. If you (in general) want a pristine barn with all the niceties of a nice boarding barn, then you're going to have to work to keep it up.

    OR, you can set up your home environment such that it doesn't involve as much hands-on work, still maintain a very high standard of care *as far as the horse is concerned*, and save quite a bit.

    Neither situation is right for every person.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
      I think a lot of posters are comparing apples to oranges. It isn't fair to compare stall board at a facility with a nice ring and professional staff and twice a day care to an at home facility where the horses stay out all the time, eat from a hay roll, get grain once a day, are periodically cared for by friends/neighbors who might not know much about horses and there is no riding ring. Of course you are saving money, but it isn't because the horses are at home it is because the standard of care has dropped. I'm not saying that horses can't do fine in the second situation, just that it isn't comparable.

      If moving your horses home includes a drastic change in the standard and complexity of horse care and a significant reduction in horse/barn amenities, yes, obviously you are going to save money, just as if you moved your horse from stall board at a fancy facility to pasture board at a more simple place. The savings is not in having your horses at home, it is in the simplification of their care wherever it is.

      Interestingly, I have had several fairly particular clients over the years who have ended up buying their own horse properties and moving their horses home and in each case their standards relaxed dramatically. It takes a lot of work to keep stalls clean, buckets fresh, blankets changed, fences fixed, arena groomed, aisle swept, etc, and when people realize exactly how much work, they often decide to drastically simplify things.
      My horse was injured this summer two times at different boarding barns. At the first one (most expensive barn I've ever boarded at) they didn't notice it, I did after getting back from a work trip, and it had gotten infected with proud flesh. I also noticed the second wound, although I do think the current barn owner is much more knowlegable and on top of things than the former--I just happened to be the one bringing her in that day.

      I think being able to check on them at home will be much better for me than boarding. The boarding barn is 40 minutes away. My farm is 2 miles from work and I can go home every day at lunch or arrange my meeting schedule around horse things (self employed). Also, my turnouts will be designed to hopefully be safer. Granted it means giving up a heated stall at night, but *shrug* meh. I don't think healthy horses need heated stalls anyway. My old, arthritic horses always did better on more turnout as well.

      That said, I'm not saying a true, high end boarding barn doesn't take more work. Obviously it does. But I can customize my feed and turnout to meet individual horses needs in a way that a big boarding facility can't for every single horse.

      I WILL miss the people ammenities!! Manicured grounds, manicured arenas, heated tack stalls & wash stalls, that's where I am positive I will "slack off" so to speak.
      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #63
        BeeHoney, that is a totally one-sided and unfair statement. Now YOU'RE comparing apples to oranges. And exaggerating.

        How about I take your same argument and flip it?

        How can you compare being at home where you are able to check in on your horse many times during the day, be able to customize the care of your horse to your horse's specific needs, and have total control over all aspects of his management to boarding at a facility, where the horse is only looked at twice a day, by someone getting paid by the hour, to get the job done and care for many horses in a short period of time.

        See how statements like that paint all boarding facilities as cookie-cutter places? Just like you assumed that because our horses are at home, that somehow their care has dropped.

        At home, my horses are still on grass while most boarding facilities have pulled the horses from grass this time of year. I can manage a wound, or a hoof problem, better at home.

        Comment


        • #64
          Hilarious... my little farm is nicer than most facilities around here. Superb barn with lovely stalls and big ring with great footing,lush pastures, and hands on care from their owner - me three times daily. No facility can compare with care.
          Boss Mare Eventing Blog
          https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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          • #65
            Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
            I think a lot of posters are comparing apples to oranges. It isn't fair to compare stall board at a facility with a nice ring and professional staff and twice a day care to an at home facility where the horses stay out all the time, eat from a hay roll, get grain once a day, are periodically cared for by friends/neighbors who might not know much about horses and there is no riding ring. Of course you are saving money, but it isn't because the horses are at home it is because the standard of care has dropped. I'm not saying that horses can't do fine in the second situation, just that it isn't comparable.

            If moving your horses home includes a drastic change in the standard and complexity of horse care and a significant reduction in horse/barn amenities, yes, obviously you are going to save money, just as if you moved your horse from stall board at a fancy facility to pasture board at a more simple place. The savings is not in having your horses at home, it is in the simplification of their care wherever it is.

            Interestingly, I have had several fairly particular clients over the years who have ended up buying their own horse properties and moving their horses home and in each case their standards relaxed dramatically. It takes a lot of work to keep stalls clean, buckets fresh, blankets changed, fences fixed, arena groomed, aisle swept, etc, and when people realize exactly how much work, they often decide to drastically simplify things.
            umm...

            I don't want my horses to be inside at night.
            I don't need to grain them twice a day when salt/free choice minerals/free choice hay is available
            My 'help' is often my dressage instructor (working on her Bronze, I hope she knows which end to feed...or my friend Alabama, who's got her own healthy herd at home, a woman I've known for nearly 15 years...)
            and I can put them up if weather permits, and everyone has a wet weather blanket and a very cold and wet weather blanket. But I must be remiss in the fact that they don't have a 40-49 degree and partly cloudy sheet, tsk tsk.

            Wait, maybe this isn't about me, I have a lighted arena, does that mean I sorta know what I'm doing?

            REALLY?

            The level of 'care' that mine get is exactly fine with me, and always has been exactly fine with me. I've worked in mega fancy barns (AQHA World and Congress Champions, many times over), and I COULD do more. I COULD lock them up every night and scrub the hall with a toothbrush. I CHOOSE to do what I do, the way I do it- I CHOOSE that. It doesn't feel like a 'drop in standards' to leave herd animals out 24/7 being a...herd. Eating hay, in a....herd.

            I'm sure you can tell from these photos how badly my horses have suffered in my 'care', if you could dare to call it that...

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/5875435865/
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/2518468361/
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...ses/535614821/

            Quick, put 'em on Craigslist. Save them from me!

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
              I think a lot of posters are comparing apples to oranges. It isn't fair to compare stall board at a facility with a nice ring and professional staff and twice a day care to an at home facility where the horses stay out all the time, eat from a hay roll, get grain once a day, are periodically cared for by friends/neighbors who might not know much about horses and there is no riding ring. Of course you are saving money, but it isn't because the horses are at home it is because the standard of care has dropped. I'm not saying that horses can't do fine in the second situation, just that it isn't comparable.

              If moving your horses home includes a drastic change in the standard and complexity of horse care and a significant reduction in horse/barn amenities, yes, obviously you are going to save money, just as if you moved your horse from stall board at a fancy facility to pasture board at a more simple place. The savings is not in having your horses at home, it is in the simplification of their care wherever it is.

              Interestingly, I have had several fairly particular clients over the years who have ended up buying their own horse properties and moving their horses home and in each case their standards relaxed dramatically. It takes a lot of work to keep stalls clean, buckets fresh, blankets changed, fences fixed, arena groomed, aisle swept, etc, and when people realize exactly how much work, they often decide to drastically simplify things.
              Yup, the standard of care my horse is getting has changed dramatically -- for the better!! That's why I bought my farm. Big fancy barn =/= high standard of care.
              Jigga:
              Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

              Comment


              • #67
                If I ever keep horses at home I would plan to do the following. Feed everyone from slow feeders that can be filled say every two days (I do this with my boarded horse). Feeding once every two days beats feeding 2x per day!!!! Have a boarder or two who get reduced rate board in exchange for help with farm chores. I want to be able to take weekends off here and there and plus I'd have someone with whom to ride!!! That's my plan. Might even come true!

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by katarine View Post
                  I'm sure you can tell from these photos how badly my horses have suffered in my 'care', if you could dare to call it that...

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/5875435865/
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/2518468361/
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...ses/535614821/

                  Quick, put 'em on Craigslist. Save them from me!
                  Gorgeous!

                  Well, my horses are at home and they look like scraggly rag-a-muffins, but I suppose that's all right with them. Once or twice a year I take a hammer and chisel to their mud-crust just to see if they're still in there. They usually are.

                  My old boarding barn was 40 minutes away. That's 80 minutes of drive-time I now spend, not sitting in traffic on the cronal kiester enbiggening my carbon footprint, but dashing around the farm hoisting 50-lb horse-things and generally keeping fit. So I'm saving on the gym membership if nothing else. Plus I get to feel sanctimonious!
                  Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    About two years ago my good horse sustained a fracture of his RH medial splint bone. My vet treated it initially with a voodoo potion and wrap, shot a ton of films, and headed to a vet conference in Louisiana for the weekend. There, vets from both CSU and Texas A&M, both prominent equine surgeons, said he'd eventually have to go in there and operate to repair it. I treated and managed that horse alone, 3-4 times a day, then twice day a day, etc....for 4+ months. He was on rest from Sept-January. We repeated films a few times, and it continued to bridge and heal and knit. In January he was returned to full work.

                    All the while that horse suffered under my care, in my crappy pasture, eating off of a round bale with his buddies. Stall rest was not an option, we (my vet and I) agreed, let's leave him out where he's not stressed.

                    If it is not clear by now, the very idea that every horse at home is suffering or lacking care b/c their owner is not getting paid a wage to care for them, is personally offensive to me. There are many of us out here in the real world who actually do know their elbow from a hole in the ground.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      I bought a farm last year that was almost identically priced to my townhouse which I sold and it included the tractor in the price. I've been doing partial self care boarding for more years than I can remember and having the horses home is definitely cheaper. I used to spend more than an hour commuting to the barn every day and sometimes twice a day. I spent easily $600+ being conservative for board, hay, grain and bedding plus the cost of commuting once or twice a day and my time.

                      I was always exhausted. I loved the farm I was at, but honestly the driving was a pain in the rear.

                      Now that they are home, I can do everything horse and animal care wise in an hour per day. I do have a lot of mowing and weedwacking to do but that is dimishing as I improve the setup (mainly to reduce the weedwacking). I Much prefer having them home and putzing around the farm.

                      My mortgage is actually less now than what I was paying and if you factor in board, I am saving more plus building equity. Its worth it to me and will be even better when I get the ring in soon!
                      For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by katarine View Post
                        umm...

                        I don't want my horses to be inside at night.
                        I don't need to grain them twice a day when salt/free choice minerals/free choice hay is available
                        My 'help' is often my dressage instructor (working on her Bronze, I hope she knows which end to feed...or my friend Alabama, who's got her own healthy herd at home, a woman I've known for nearly 15 years...)
                        and I can put them up if weather permits, and everyone has a wet weather blanket and a very cold and wet weather blanket. But I must be remiss in the fact that they don't have a 40-49 degree and partly cloudy sheet, tsk tsk.

                        Wait, maybe this isn't about me, I have a lighted arena, does that mean I sorta know what I'm doing?

                        REALLY?

                        The level of 'care' that mine get is exactly fine with me, and always has been exactly fine with me. I've worked in mega fancy barns (AQHA World and Congress Champions, many times over), and I COULD do more. I COULD lock them up every night and scrub the hall with a toothbrush. I CHOOSE to do what I do, the way I do it- I CHOOSE that. It doesn't feel like a 'drop in standards' to leave herd animals out 24/7 being a...herd. Eating hay, in a....herd.

                        I'm sure you can tell from these photos how badly my horses have suffered in my 'care', if you could dare to call it that...

                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/5875435865/
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...es/2518468361/
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockand...ses/535614821/

                        Quick, put 'em on Craigslist. Save them from me!
                        AMEN.
                        I managed a boarding stable for almost 2 years and brought my horses home again rather than keep them in the beautiful barn with an indoor and an outdoor. Mine stay outside 24x7 because I WANT them out. I never scrub water buckets because I have a bubbling creek that runs thru their paddock. No one will ever convince me that my two horses wouldn't rather be home, watching every move we make, getting random treats and scratches as we walk by or people visit. Someone's always got an eye on them when we're home. I trail ride and have hundreds and hundreds of acres of woods we can get to from my backyard- we can also hook up the trailer to attend my daughter's shows or go work in a ring if we want. There are two pretty big barns in my area and both of my horses would give them a run for their money when it comes to natural,healthy shine all year round.
                        http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...mskyonneck.jpg
                        http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...rsidefront.jpg
                        And it takes me ten minutes twice a day, at 1/4 the price it would take to board at either of those barns. Won't ever have it any other way. I know there are plenty of boarding barns that take great care, I've been there- but my horses are just as well, if not better, taken care of at home. With a run in..........and a round bale........lol. I'll gather a few horses from some horsewomen friends I have and then go get a few from the big barns around, I'd challenge anyone to tell me which are which ;-) Horse care is what you make of it, not necessarily what you pay someone else to do.
                        Kerri

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          The cost of keeping a horse whereever he lives is comprised of the cost/purchase price/ maintenance of:

                          Land
                          Buildings
                          Feed
                          Hay
                          Bedding
                          Water
                          Labor
                          Riding Ring
                          Jumps
                          Pasture Maintenance
                          Fencing
                          Tractor
                          Manure Removal
                          Insurance -- property, liability, workers comp
                          Depreciation
                          Taxes
                          Electrical
                          and so on.

                          If you keep horses at home, you will be incurring all of those costs yourself and be able to come up with a rough figure for one horse for one month. Not surprising that it is higher than the cost of boarding your horse at a facility which offers the same amenities.

                          A boarding stable, can make a [small] profit by taking care of many horses, just as you can reduce your cost per horse by having a number of horses at home. Whether for 1 or 5 or 10 horses you still need fencing, maintain pastures, deal with manure removal, build and maintain a ring and jumps, etc.

                          The diference in the 2 options is in lifestyle. If you are a person who likes living in the country, taking care of horses 24/7/365 and hammering on boards which have come loose, wheeling heaving carts of manure around and dragging rings and fields, then you can keep your cost down by doing it yourself. But your time is worth something. If you thiink it isn't then consider it a "donation" to your horse care. If you put an hourly rate on your time spent, then you can see how much it TRULY costs.

                          If you get enjoyment out of doing these things, then keeping a horse at home is probably cheaper.

                          Like being a stay at home mom v. daycare.

                          But, if you work at a stressful job which includes travel or long hours, then, even if you had your horses at home, chances are you will be paying fo someone to take care of them.

                          What it all boils down to is convenience and pleasure. You cannot put a $$ value on intangibles.

                          I have a small (12 acres) farm which I used to board horses on. I have gotten rid of my boarders and only have my 4 horses here now. I am in the middle ground of when pleasure becomes work. and I do not like being underpaid for my labor.

                          I figured that, at a board of $650/month, I was "earning" about $150/month per horse if I just counted onthly out of pocket expenses. If I factored in the cost of my labor at $15/hour then I was losing money on each boarded horse.

                          I do not mind "losing money" on my horses. But I began to see that taking horses in on board, was not a money making proposition. Not for a small farm owner who insists that every horse be cared for with a stall 12 hours/day and a field for 12/hours a day. With deeply banked shavings, top quality hay, night checks and blanket changes whenever needed. Holding horses for the farrier/vet. Checking on horses and medicating booboos. And, in general, the responsibility to insure that all these horses were kept in to health and comfort. When you have other people's horses staying with you. that IS a responsibility -- and I no longer wanted to incur it.

                          Having horses is not cheap, no matter where they live.
                          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post

                            Having horses is not cheap, no matter where they live.
                            Now you tell me.
                            Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Maybe I'm in the minority, but mortgage on acreage + feed = rent on an apartment (all I really need) + board for three at a show barn.

                              I went from the apartment+board to buying acreage (plus house), so it really wasn't a big money difference.
                              It actually has been more expensive, because I had to upgrade the property (barn, fencing, etc) and purchase everything I need for the horses (buckets, water tanks, etc etc).

                              Plus, it's an entirely different budgeting practice that I am not used to. Thousands in cash for hay to last several months instead of monthly board payments. So it has taken a while for my brain to adjust to that new budgeting practice.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post
                                But your time is worth something. If you thiink it isn't then consider it a "donation" to your horse care. If you put an hourly rate on your time spent, then you can see how much it TRULY costs.
                                I consider it a hobby.

                                And the cost of boarding is outrageous if you factor in your time spent driving 30+minutes one way to the barn, plus gas money, plus time spent dealing with barn staff, time you might spend waiting for someone to finish up in the cross ties, time spent waiting for a lesson to finish so you can go in the ring, phone calls to the barn owner, etc.
                                Jigga:
                                Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                                  but dashing around the farm hoisting 50-lb horse-things and generally keeping fit. So I'm saving on the gym membership if nothing else. Plus I get to feel sanctimonious!
                                  Yes! I was picking my pasture last weekend and as I was dragging the muck tub of crap, I did say "I can scratch that gym membership off the Christmas list... and ask for a hose... or buckets... or a new shovel... or.. {insert any/ all farm related item here}".

                                  You can argue both sides all day long. These are horses. There is no cost savings anywhere. Ever.

                                  Do what you want to do. And though you can't put a dollar value on sanity, it has to be considered. Where will your horses drive you less crazy. At someone else's farm, or my farm. That's basically what it boiled down to for me. It's a crapshoot either way.

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                                  • #77
                                    PS - Crone - you crack me up. Love your blog!

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                                    • #78
                                      The lesson here is that it's different for all people in all areas, I think.

                                      I beg to differ that it's a different standard of care. For $350 a month, I get 6 lbs of grain fed twice a day, two flakes of hay, twice a day, and stalled nightly. Sure, there's an outdoor ring, but no access to trails. Out 24/7 was not an option. Buckets were often low and there were no water troughs in the pasture.

                                      At my house, for $65 a month, my horse eats unlimited hay. He prefers that (which is obvious) because the first round bale we got delivered (after feeding him some very nice grass baled hay) he got VERY excited, and completely rejected the nice hay for the round bale. He has free access to his stall. I could shut him in at night if I wanted to, but he doesn't seem to prefer that, so I don't. Periodically I will just so that if I HAVE to (for injury etc.) I can, but he doesn't need it. He doesn't eat any grain because if he did, he'd be even fatter.

                                      I ride in the morning before I go to work. I don't have a ring, true, but I have some flatter areas where I can do anything that I could do in a ring. The one nice thing about a ring is for schooling dressage, and I've recently learned that I can still "see" things without it, so...maybe I don't need it! I can jump outside of a ring just fine, and I now have forest access, so I can ride on trails.

                                      I check on my horse 4-5 times a day, and he gets individualized attention. My new neighbors are horsey, so they also keep an eye on things. It is RARE RARE RARE for no one to be around for more than an hour or so.

                                      It's not the same as boarding at a show barn, which I did with my other horse, which was $600 a month. Horses were frequently not turned out, the stall was a mess, and I found that really what I was paying $600 a month for was a heated washrack (which was the NICEST amenity).

                                      *shrug* I think it depends on your horse. Big barns do have the "bulk cost" issue down, BUT if you've got an easy keeper, you would do better at home, because you're paying for the harder keepers.

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                                      • #79
                                        I have my horses at home, and have for the last 15 years, so I am certainly coming down on the side of enjoying them at home.

                                        BUT, keeping horses ar home DOES cost a lot more than hay and grain.

                                        Horses are an "Attractive Nuisance" and, depending on your state, if someone crawls between the boards in your pasture and goes to pat the "pretty horsey" and gets kicked in the face, guess who may be liable? Yep. You. So you need farm insurance (homeowners will not cover such things) with at least $1m liability coverage. But that is only if you do not keep anyone else's horse(s) on your property. If you do, then you automatically become a business and must get business insurance. --- No -- no one is going to come onto your property and check ownership of all the horses, but when you sign your insurance policy, you will be swearing that the land will not be used for any business purposes. So your farm insuranc will not cover you right when you need the coverage.

                                        Then there is Workmens Comp..................... Don't get me started about Wormen's Comp. If you have any employee who works more than part time on your property and who is NOT an independent contractor (i.e. he has all his own tools and comes and goes at times set by him -- like a carpenter or plumber), then you may end up paying for such laborer's accident out of your own pocket (to say nothing of having the workers comp people come down on you.)

                                        Next, you need a truck and trailer. If your horse gets hurt or colics badly enough to have to go to the local vet hospital, YOU are the person who has to take him. No BO around to hitch up her rig and load your horse. Good neighbors are nice, but what if they are away?

                                        Now you get to the part about being at work and your boss tells you that you must take clients to dinner that night because he cannot. -- If you have horses, they doi not like to wait 4 hours for their dinner. Nor should they have to.

                                        And who is going to bring horses in and hold them for the farrier or vet? Yep, you are.

                                        What if your horse gets out of his paddock and is found 2 miles from home standing in the middle of a busy intersection? Yep, you (and your truck and trailer) are going to have to go get him, pronto.

                                        I, and many others, have taken all this into account and prefer to keep our horses at home. I feel that no one gives Petey and George and Warren and CT the love and care that I do. And I do not really need to go out on a date straight from work, or go on a vacation (ever). Because farm sitters are expensive if you want to get one who is knowledgable and reliable. And, even then, you spend 1/2 your vacation worrying about if they have their right bankies on, or if Numnuts has thrown a shoe, will the sitter tape his foot and call the farrier?

                                        No, having horses (must have at least 2 because horses are social creatures and need companionship) is a LOT more than throwing hay and grain twice a day. To think otherwise is naive.
                                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

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                                        • #80
                                          Again - that's assuming that you don't have to do all of those things where you're boarding.

                                          For us - we already had farm insurance because we have other animals. So that's a wash.

                                          We'd have to have a truck and trailer regardless, because of our location and what we want to do, and our emergency vet is local. Often at the boarding barns I was at, there was no "owner's truck and trailer". There was at the $600 a month place, but the owner there was very frequently away, so the vet would have to come anyway.

                                          I had to leave work to go hold my horse for the vet/farrier, so again - no change.

                                          So - assuming that there are a bunch of NEW things may not necessarily be the case either. It depends on your farm, your state, your horse, the boarding situation that you are accustomed to, your location, a whole host of factors.

                                          To think it has to be complicated is, in my mind, overcomplicating things. For instance, I not only have other farm animals, but the neighbor's horses are over a fenceline. For my horse, it's like they are in a separate paddock. This is not unusual in many boarding barns to have separate paddocks. Many horses live quite successfully with a goat or other animal as a companion (although goats definitely complicate fencing).

                                          I even had to go give extra hay and grain for my other horse at a boarding barn because he had colicked badly and needed an extra feeding that the barn wouldn't do.

                                          Bottom line - it depends on your horse, your farm, your state, your intentions, your discipline, what you do already, what you have already, how your horse is kept already....

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